Charley Chatty and the Disappearing Pennies (Therapeutic Parenting Books) ISBN: 9781785923036
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017
What is wonderful about this series of books is that they have a dual purpose: they teach parents how to handle children with problems in a loving and non-judgemental way, and they are also good children's stories. Aimed at adopted and fostered children and their new parents, they show some of the common behavioural and physical problems that children who have suffered in the early years of their lives can exhibit. Each book has pages at the end to give parents advice on using the stories. In this one, Charley takes things that aren't hers. Sometimes they are things she sees lying around that look interesting, and sometimes it is money. In this particular instance we see that she has taken the money for her sister Sophie Spikey's school trip and put it in her piggy bank. In this busy family, no one has seen this happen, but dad knows all about Charley's tendencies to take things, so he approaches the situation with delicacy: 'I thought you might know where the school trip money is, Charley.' This makes Charley very angry, and she insists she has had nothing to do with it. Dad calmly takes the money from the piggy bank, and there it all is, along with pennies that are Charley's own. Charley still insists angrily that the money is hers, and interestingly, while she finally give the money to Sophie, she never admits her fault. Dad says he is proud of her for giving it, and that he and mum 'always know what has happened and are here to help you sort it out.' There is implication here that the parents know what she has done but are not judging her for her mistake. Part of Charley's problem is that she has resented Sophie before now, and it is Sophie's belongings that she usually steals. A lot goes on in this relatively short book, and the feelings and responses feel very real indeed. Written by a mum who has had five adopted children, the books in this series will prove invaluable to those who must deal with children with serious background difficulties. The pictures are wonderfully simple and effective, full of grey, brown and taupe, with solid characters - very reassuring. Available from Amazon, from good book shops, and from the publisher: www.jkp.com.